They must not have gotten around to giving it to him before he dropped dead.
Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan tweets
Pres Calderon entrego el Aguila Azteca a la viuda del Senador T. Kennedy por sus invaluables contribuciones a derechos de los inmigranteswhich means that the visiting President held a medal ceremony with Kennedy's widow. The AP, writing in English, says
The late Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy has been awarded Mexico's highest honor for his lifelong support of immigrants and Mexican-Americans.It's nonsensical to call the "Order of the Aztec Eagle" Mexico's highest honor—if it were Mexico's highest honor, they wouldn't give it to foreigners at all.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon (fay-LEE'-pay kahl-duh-ROHN') on Thursday presented the Order of the Aztec Eagle to Kennedy's widow, Vicki, in Washington, D.C. Late Mass. US Sen. Kennedy gets Mexican high honor, May 20, 2010
In fact, it's a medal only given to foreigners—Mexico's actual highest honor, the Belisario Dom?nguez Medal of Honor is only ever given to Mexicans.
During the ceremony, Senator John Kerry was quoted as saying that
Kennedy's work as a champion of immigrants made it possible for many Mexican-Americans and others to find new homes in the United States.That's certainly one way of putting it.